Arrival & Departure Information
Guide to Activities
Guide to Local Restaurants
Guide to the Wine Regions
Visiting Cape Town
About the Accommodation
Safety Info & Rules
Practical Area Information
Arrival & Departure Information
Guide to Activities
Guide to Local Restaurants
Guide to the Wine Regions
Visiting Cape Town
About the Accommodation
Safety Info & Rules
Practical Area Information
Welcome to Beach Retreat
Welcome to Beach Retreat, our home away from home in the beach village of Kommetjie! This welcome book is intended to help you get acquainted with the area and our home. We've downloaded our 10 years of area knowledge for you to enjoy! Favorite restaurants, golf courses, vineyards, and more. Along with our area guide you'll also find everything you need to know about our home. From air conditioning to the heated pool.
You will find a bound copy of this guide in the home, which you are welcome to take out with you during your stay so you needn't print this out.
We have sought to equip our home to a high standard and to anticipate your needs by providing all the things you might want for a luxurious stay. Hair dryers and pool towels are provided as standard and a washing machine is available so that you don’t have to worry about luggage restrictions.
You want to have a wonderful holiday and we want that for you too. We believe that when you are here this is your home for however long you are staying and that you will be relaxed, comfortable and happy. We don't believe in supplements, breakage deposits or rules and requirements which restrict you, rather trusting you to do the right thing as you would at home. We live on site and available at all times to help and assist you. Welcome to paradise!
The Doe family.
Kommetjie is a small village on the west coast of the Cape Peninsula, located around 45 minutes south of Cape Town by car. It's a small, peaceful community of around 3000 friendly and hospitable residents!
To the east lies Ocean View and, to the south, is Scarborough. Fish Hoek is the nearest major centre with a train station linking it to Cape Town. It's around a 15 minute drive to the East.
Further north, along the dramatic and scenic Chapmans Peak coast drive, you'll pass Noordhoek with a huge wide beach popular with surfers, and on to Hout Bay, Llandudno and Camps Bay, before reaching Cape Town (it's a must drive with a stop for lunch in Hout Bay!).
Further afield, but still within easy reach you have the wine region, with places like Stellenbosch (1 hour drive) and Franschhoek (1.5 - 2 hr drive).
Beach Retreat is located a few blocks back from the beach, around 300 metres on foot. We are a short drive or walk from the village centre, approximately 1km where you'll find a small selection of restaurants and shops. See more information on restaurants and shops elsewhere in this guide.
Next to the TV you will find a wireless router providing high speed internet to the house. Please note that the blue glowing light should always be on. If it isn't then the connection is faulty. In this case please turn the unit off (button on side), wait 1 minute and then switch on again. If it fails after restarting please call us. Do not attempt to fix it yourself.
Connection details | SSID: Beach Retreat | Password: letmein
Beach Retreat is situated only 40 minutes from the Cape Town International Airport. Upon leaving the airport take Settlers Way/N2 towards Cape Town. Stay on the N2 for about 10 km and then take exit 6 for Rhodes Drive/M3. Continue on the M3 for around 8km and then take the turning to Steenberg Road/M42. After reaching Sunnydale turn right onto Kommetjie Road. Follow this until you reach Kommetjie and then turn right into Greenways Drive and then left into Oyster Close.
The front door is controlled by a secure access code. Our onsite property manager lives 5 doors down at number 11. She will meet you at the property to explain how it works and orient you around the house. Don't worry, we'll be in touch the week before you arrive to find out roughly when you'll arrive at the house.
There is also an alarm code which our property manager will provide you with (it changes for each guest). During your stay we strongly encourage you to set the alarm. Whilst crime is rare, it's a simple and sensible precaution to take.
Check-in is 2pm. If you are arriving earlier than this please contact us - if we don't have any departing guests we may be able to accommodate you. Alternatively you're welcome to park up in the driveway (if there is space), and then walk down to Long Beach to take in your new stunning surroundings! Or take a look at some of our suggestions in this guide - there are plenty of options to fill a few hours!
The only parking is in the driveway which will fit two cars. Cars CANNOT be left out on the street at night or they will be towed.
Check out is 12pm. Should you wish to leave later than this please contact us beforehand. If we have guests arriving it will be tricky but we can try!
You've hopefully had a relaxing stay! But, before you leave, we would appreciate it if you could do the following:
1. Strip all used beds (including duvet covers) and place in the laundry room
2. Run the dishwasher with any final dirty plates, etc
3. Ensure all windows are closed
4. No need to clean the house but please try to leave everything tidy
5. Set the AC to 80F
6. Set the alarm and bolt the door on exit
Please travel safely back home and we hope to see you again soon!!
Cape of Good Hope. This is neither southernmost point of Africa, nor where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, that would be Cape Agullas, some 3 hours further around the Cape coast. Cape Point is a landmark destination with spectacular scenery, funicular railway and many, many baboons!
Chapmans Peak is undoubtedly one of the worlds great drives. Spectacular mountain drive way above the deep blue Atlantic. It's a 1 hour round trip without stops but you'll certainly be stopping for photo opps! You can follow this link for directions from the house.
From there continue on to Hout Bay where you'll find lively restaurants, bars, beach, and flea-market on Sundays. Our favourite restaurant for Sunday lunch is Chapmans Peak Hotel. Great calamari, fresh fish and (if you must) ribs and meat are on the menu. No bookings taken so arrive either early (noon), or later (2pm).
If you have time it's worth continuing 15 minutes north to Camps Bay, interestingly compared by the locals to French Riviera (it is not by a country mile but still fun!). Kerb-side bars and bistros, interesting and a good beach. However it is massively touristic.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a spectacular place and a must do for you garden lovers. A 30 minute drive from Kommetjie, it's acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain. Don't miss a chance to visit!
This is a 25 minute drive. Referred to as Indian Ocean side of the peninsula. Park at Muizenberg and then take a 30 minute walk, between the ocean and railway above, to St.James. Enjoy a snack at Octopus Garden a quirky little bistro right beside St.James railway station. Have a coffee and cake and enjoy the trains passing by before returning to Muizenberg for your car.
You should also drive back to Kalk Bay for fish & chips at Kalky’s in the working harbour. An experience not to be missed!
A 3 mile drive from the house is Imhoff Farm where you may enjoy camel rides, a snake park and several small curio and art shops. You'll also find Blue Water restaurant which has great food and service and is also child-friendly. Pizzeria made to order and superb deli.
Visit African 'Jasckass' Penguins at Boulders Beach, one of Cape Town’s most visited beaches and the only place in the world where you get close to African Penguins. Swim at nearby secluded sandy cove. Take a picnic. Warm and safe bathing.
A 5 minute stroll from the house to beautiful 9kms of golden sand. Atlantic is bracing though. For the energetic walk from Kommetjie to Noordhoek Beach and see the ship that came aground in a storm in 1900. The ship is still buried deep in the sand. The captain mistook this for Cape Point and legend has it he refused to leave the ship for another 3 years as he was too distressed at his navigational error-BSN-before satnav. Great surfing.
This is one of our favourite clubs. It's extremely well maintained and a true challenge of golfing ability in all departments of the game. The halfway house is excellent as well!
The Steenberg golf course is rated as one of the top three courses to visit in South Africa, while the Estate itself has earned global recognition as a flagship residential address. The scenery is majestic as it's set in the heart of the tranquil Constantia Winelands and surrounded by the Silvermine mountain range. They maintain it in excellent condition year-round.
This has been a regular course for us and rarely disappoints! It sits at the foot of the Silvermine mountains and is only a 25 minute drive from Cape Town. The beautiful setting, abundant bird life (look out for the iconic fish eagle) and accessibility make it one of our favourites.
We love the low key nature of this place. It's a family owned pub and has a great outside area with tables in a shaded garden. The shade is a perfect spot for resting with a glass at the end of a summer day! Head inside on cooler days and you'll find cosy tables and a fire. Good variety of food to suit all tastes and they do run specials from time to time. Sunday lunch listening to live music is something we enjoy!
The Meeting Place offers breakfast and lunch every day and, on Friday & Saturday they are open in the evenings. Very good food and value.
Of course one of the major attractions in this region must be The Cape Winelands. Specifically Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek, all within an easy 1-2 hour drive. There are some more direct route options but we prefer driving to Muizenberg and then taking the coastal road (for example here is our route to Stellnbosch). At times you're just 30-50 yards from the surf of False Bay. It is absolutely stunning and unlike anywhere we have driven. See local fishermen hauling in their nets, alongside those fishing with poles. The surf here is wild!
There are very good Wine Route guide books available for all regions, but from experience we look for those with lovely properties and excellent wines. Generally for a small cost of R25 you will get to sample 5 or more lovely wines at beautiful properties. These outings are not really suitable for children though they are warmly welcomed.
It is possible to make it a day trip. However we always stay 1 or 2 nights to really enjoy the experience. The accommodations options are extensive and many of them are affordable with high standards.
There are world class wines on display and these are some of our favourites. Most of our descriptions will be described as stunning, superb, excellent, wonderful, etc. That is because there are really no bad things to say about South African wines!
We love this place! It's a picturesque 300 year old farm in the Franschhoek Valley known for its award-winning wines, farm-to-table cuisine, fresh produce, and rare natural beauty. This is a beautiful property and gardens, great wines, and watch out for the lunches in the main restaurant. Legendary!
This is a hop-on hop-off tour and a great way to explore the Franschhoek Valley, passing by some stunning scenery, taking you through the heart of the Franschhoek Valley.
This is one South Africa’s finest Sparkling Wine/Methode Champenoise estates. Very theatrical wines tastings and you may even witness a sebrage (opening a champagne bottle with a sabre).
Leaving Somerset West on R44 towards Stellenbosch make your first stop at Ken Forrester. This is not a particularly exciting property, but Ken Forrester is locally known as “Mr.Chenin Blanc.” Excellent wines.
The next stop after Ken Forrester would be Kleine Zalze which also offers superb lunches.
A short drive after Morgenhof to L’Avenir with stunning views. This property offers accommodation and we have stayed there on several occasions during the past 30 years. We would recommend a 2-night stay and perhaps use it as a base for wine tasting outings.
Morgenhof is a delight and the wines are superior. Great lunches and comfortable tasting room which is really welcome when the average summer temperature is touching 30C.
Consistently one of the best in the Paarl region.
Nederburg offers not only a wide range of award-winning wines and a lovely bistro-style restaurant called The Red Table, but also historic buildings, contemporary tasting facilities, a museum showcasing items associated with Nederburg’s illustrious history, beautiful gardens and glorious views of the majestic Drakenstein mountains.
We are located 45 minutes via the more direct route. We would suggest you use this route when planning activities in downtown Cape Town in order to get the most from your time. Choose the coastal route if you want to make a day trip of driving the coast, perhaps stopping at Hout Bay or Camps Bay for lunch.
We would suggest you visit Table Mountain as a day trip, allowing you to experience it at your own pace. You could always take the leisurely route one way and the more direct the other.
For a full day in Cape Town we would suggest the Red Bus tour (see further down this guide), and then spend a second day at the V&A Waterfront, Wheel, etc.
If in any doubt drop us a line and we will happily advise you from our years of mistakes!
Cape Town is located north of Kommetjie, around 45 minutes by car from Beach Retreat. The best route is via the more direct main road and is usually our choice if you would like to spend a full day in the city. If you have more time there is a dramatic and scenic coastal drive via Chapmans Peak. However it's a much longer drive and probably best combined with a half day in the city.
This historic hotel is an appropriately regal setting for a scrumptious and sumptuous afternoon tea. Leisurely, luscious and decidedly luxurious, high tea at the Nellie (now known as the Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel) can be taken in the lounge, on the spacious terrace or down in the garden around the fountain. It is legendary and not for the faint-hearted! Everyone will eat exceptionally!
Take the 40 minute boat trip to Robben Island and experience the place where Mandela was incarcerated. Seeing the cell where he spent 27 years of his life is incredibly moving. There's also a good coach tour of the island.
No trip to Cape Town is complete without experiencing the cable car up to the top! Hit the red Google Plus button below for directions and more.
With spectacular views of Table Mountain it's a great place to spend a few hours. Fun street buskers, curios, great food and wine. It can be a little touristy but it's worth it.
The Cape Wheel is a giant observation wheel that offers a spectacular 360 degree panoramic view of Cape Town from the iconic and vibrant V&A Waterfront precinct. Your viewing experience across the Mother City includes Table Mountain, Robben Island, Cape Town City skyline, Paarl Mountains, and more. It's a fun ride!
The aircon can be controlled using the remote on the wall in the living room near the door to the kitchen. We always maintain the temperature at around 71F - 73F and it should not be necessary to adjust it beyond that range. However, if you do need to, you can simply press the up or down arrow on the panel.
Please ensure all doors and windows are closed whilst it is running otherwise it will not operate efficiently.
The kitchen is one of the places we hang out the most. The grandkids love the sit up bar and it often becomes the place where we all end up congregating and chatting.
Because we love this space to much, you can be sure that it's properly kitted out! You'll find, amongst other things, a fridge and separate freezer, dishwasher, microwave, gas fired cook top, double oven, wine cooler, high quality cookware, etc.
We've included a starter supply of dishwasher tablets and washing up liquid. You'll also find tea towels in draw to the right of the sink.
Should you have any questions before (or during) your stay please let us know!
To the left of the kitchen is a laundry room with separate washer and dryer. There is also a sink and cabinet space in which you'll find a starter stock of detergent and softener. Operation of the units is very simple, with controls for each setting and a start button!
The house is equipped with an alarm which we would suggest you set each time you leave the house. This is a friendly community and break-ins are very rare, but it's always worth taking the extra precaution when it take less than 10 seconds to set! Our property manager will provide you the alarm code on check-in (it is changed for each guest).
On the lower level of the house you'll find a games room complete with pool table, xBox 360, table football and a darts board. You'll also find a number of board games in the cupboard. If you want to use the xBox please ensure the TV source is switched to HDMI 1 which you do from the "source" button on the TV remote control.
The LG Remote controls the television. Select ON
The Shaw Direct/Starchoice remote controls the satellite receiver. All channel selection/changing is via this remote.
The Philips remote controls the DVD player. To watch a DVD, change the input/source on LG remote to AV1.
To return to satellite, use LG remote input/source and select HDM1 (ensure satellite receiver is switched ON using Shaw Direct remote)
The Satellite is not configured for Pay for View.
We provide a starter pack which includes a roll of paper towels, a roll of toilet paper in each bathroom, a few trash bags, basic cleaning products such as dish soap and dishwasher detergent.
In the kitchen we provide basic spices such as salt and pepper and other commonly used spices. If your cooking style requires something special please bring it!
You will need to purchase these supplies for the rest of your stay.
We have a range of chairs, unbrellas, wind breaks, and toys that you can take to the beach. There is even a cart on wheels that will help you to carry it all! You can find it in the small outbuilding to the left of the pool. Please do not take any patio or poolside furniture - you'll find everything you need in the outbuilding!
We respectfully request that the towels in the property are left in the home. You can use them for our pool, but we would ask that you take your own to the beach.
Getting to the beach is easy! It really is a few minutes walk... turn left down Greenways Drive and walk for 300m. Turn left at the bottom and, after a few paces the access will be on your right. Easy!
We provide a grill on the deck. Operation is simple as the grill has an automatic starter. Please do remember to turn the gas on! There is also a set of BBQ tools in the kitchen. If the propane runs out there is a spare tank in the garage. Please clean it after use and keep it covered when not in use to prevent wear and tear.
Please ensure everyone in the group reads and understands the hot tub instructions which are on the side of the hot tub. Important tip: The hot tub takes a few hours to warm up so please ensure that you allow for this should you wish to use it - instant heat is not possible!
Providing the tub is used responsibly you should not have any problems. If at any time the water turns cloudy, a scum begins to form, or there is an unpleasant smell, let us know immediately so we can adjust the chemical balance. YOU MUST NOT USE THE TUB under these circumstances. Continuing to use the tub when thefilter needs changing may cause damage to the system.
The pool is heated to 85F during non peak months (March - November). During peak summer months (December - February) the pool is not heated as the sun is strong enough to keep it warm. We have never needed to heat the pool during these months!
Our local maintenance man, Herman, regularly checks the water quality but if you do have any questions or think there might be a problem with the filters or pumps then please let us know immediately and we'll get Herman round to take a look. Do NOT attempt to fix anything yourself.
The beds have been freshly made up for your stay and there are towels in the bathrooms. There are linens and pillows for the pullout couch in the cupboard in the master bedroom.
Twice a week the housekeeping will arrive to change your sheets and bring you new towels. We respect the environment so, if you'd prefer they didn't change your sheets, we'd be a-ok with that! (It's entirely your choice, however.)
On your departure day, please strip all used beds (including duvet covers) and place in the laundry room.
Garbage and recycling will be collected on a Wednesday. Please put any bags and boxes out the night before on the curb. Please follow the below instructions for correct disposal:
Black: All food garbage (including bones), tea bags, coffee grounds and used filter papers, used kitchen towel, grease, fats and oils, hair and fur.
Blue: Clean paper and paper products (including magazines and newspapers) and all cardboard. Please flatten your cardboard boxes before you place it in the box.
Green: Clean (rinsed) plastic containers, metal cans, bottle tops and waxed cartons.
Power outages do happen in this part of the world so please be prepared. The house breaker panels are located in the laundry room off the main kitchen area; all breakers are labelled. Should the power fail there are torches and candles in the laundry room cupboards.
**Important** – Following a power outage, please ensure that all stove and oven switches are turned off immediately and all saucepans etc. are removed from the stove top and oven. This will ensure that when external power is restored there is no risk of fire from burning pots and pans. Similarly, if candles are used, guests are asked to ensure they do not pose a fire risk by being used thoughtlessly or by leaving burning candles unattended.
We are located in a residential community and, although this is a holiday destination, it's home to many people. As such we ask that you respect their privacy and their right to a peaceful existence! Specifically, between the hours of 9pm and 8am noise should be kept to a minimum.
Although we love animals, pets are not allowed in our home. The only exceptions are certified service dogs.
This is a non-smoking property. Please do not smoke inside or on the covered patio. Feel free to smoke in the garden and pool area but remember to keep the area clean and free from cigarette butts!
1. Nationwide Emergency Response - 10111
The telephone number 10111 is for any emergency that requires police response and can be dialed from anywhere in South Africa.
A call centre operator will answer the incoming call, take all necessary particulars then assign the emergency to the relevant response team to attend to the incident. This may be a Flying Squad patrol vehicle, or the local police station.
Calls to 10111 made on a landline are free. Calls made from a cell phone are charged at the normal cell phone rates.
2. Cell phone emergency - 112
The number 112 can be called from any cell phone in South Africa. It will transfer your line to a call centre and they will route you to the emergency service closest to you.
When this number is dialed, it is followed by an automated menu. But remain calm, because the menu exists as a form of triage (priority of treatment) control and filters out abuse of the medical and emergency system.
A call to 112 on a cell phone is free and is even possible on a cell phone that does not have airtime.
3. Ambulance response - 10177
The 10177 number can be used in the case of a medical emergency and can be called in conjunction with both the fire and police department respectively, depending on whether or not there are casualties.
You will find the fire extinguisher in the kitchen next to the side door. Please familiarise yourself with the instructions so that, if you need to use it, you can do so instantly. There is a label next to the extinguisher which clearly explains the (simple) operation.
You can find the gas shut-off valve in the basement. It's on the far wall as you come down the stairs. Simply turn the valve fully to the left for shut-off.
There is a BP station in Sunnydale. Follow this link for directions. They accept all major credit cards.
There are a few medical facilities and pharmacies in the area. Please refer to this map for a list.
The Blue Route Mall offers excellent shopping with all the local big name stores. There is a multi-screen cinema with current feature movies at 50% less cost than Europe! Loads of good eateries. Free parking.
Sun Valley Mall is a 10 minute drive. All the shopping you need, plus coffee/light meal shops, banks and ATM facilities. Free parking.
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